Ride-hailing giant Didi is trying to shame bad drivers and passengers with public lists
Resolving disputes is time-consuming, so Didi is posting anonymized lists of naughty users to Weibo
Working as a ride-hailing driver can be a tough job. One bad passenger can cause some big headaches.
Consider this account: In July this year, a man decided to call a car through China's favorite ride-hailing platform, Didi Chuxing, after a night of drinking. After arriving at his destination in the city of Hangzhou, he accused the driver of trying to overcharge him and later rang the police, accusing the driver of being a drug abuser, local media reported.
Similar to platforms like Lyft and Uber, Didi has been struggling with a number of bogus complaints. However, the company has decided to strike back. On Wednesday, Didi announced it will regularly publicize an anonymized list of naughty users and drivers.
The lists mostly avoid broadcasting information that makes people easy to identify, although there were a few examples of drivers’ full company registration numbers being published on Weibo. For most drivers, though, the list only contains a surname, part of the driver company registration number and the residing city. User names are more protected, revealing only one part of their registration number and their city.
This may not be enough to shame people for their poor behavior, but Didi is looking for some way to contend with the time-consuming process of investigating false complaints. In the first quarter of 2019, the company received more than 80,000 complaints, according to Didi's preliminary report. More than 35% of them turned out to be false.
The most regular offenses from passengers include fake complaints that the driver is not picking up and making abrupt changes in the scheduled time or route. All the customers listed are repeat offenders, with one person logging in an impressive 156 complaints.
Sometimes drivers really are keeping passengers waiting. One driver included on the list completed less than 20% of his Didi orders, according to the company's Weibo post. Apparently the driver, named Mr. Song, would regularly cancel his rides, citing a stomach ache -- or just leaving his passengers waiting for as long as an hour.
In the Hangzhou case, the police sided with the driver and the customer was detained for three days for making a false claim.
But resolving these issues takes time. The false complaints require a lot of effort to verify, which affects the service experience of normal users, Didi's Liu Xidi said in a statement. The process includes going through records, analyzing any available video footage and the car's trajectory.
Despite the strict measures, Didi says that you don't have to worry that any complaint will get you put on a public list straight away.
“Currently, we suspend service for 3 to 30 days according to the seriousness of the situation for users that have been verified to make false complaints,” said Didi vice president Lai Chunbo. “Later on, we carry out education. But for the very few seriously ill-intentioned users, we will stop the service permanently.”